The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office has a tradition of helping the American Red Cross collect blood for hospital patients in need. Now the department is taking its commitment to a new level by hosting its first community blood drive during the holiday season. Donors are encouraged to give on Thursday, Dec. 22 from 1 to 7 p.m. at Gadsden Mall Premiere Cinemas, 1001 Rainbow Drive, Gadsden.
With many regular donors traveling or busy for the holidays, new and repeat donors are needed to give the perfect gift of a blood donation. Donated blood may be used to help accident victims, surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. There is no substitute for donated blood products.
"We encourage everyone to give the gift of life this Christmas season," said Sheriff Todd Entrekin, Etowah County Sheriff's Office. "Our involvement in this event is just one more way to give back to our community and help our neighbors."
Presenting donors will receive a special Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last, and the department will donate hams to the Etowah Sheriff’s Charities on behalf of presenting blood donors.
Those with types O, A negative and B negative blood are encouraged to make a Power Red donation at this blood drive. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.